Baby, it’s cold outside……Winter has officially hit San Francisco. – For me, it’s COLD. Now I do have plenty of friends that are giggling and calling me a weather ninnie and I don’t care. I’m very happy being able to wear a light sweater and not need a coat almost all year (yeah, yeah we’re a little spoiled here. 🙂
Nothing screams WARM COMFORT like soup. And for some reason, Tomato Soup – I am not even a big fan of tomatoes!
Because I’m not a huge fan but I LOVE the IDEA of tomato soup, I decided I had to figure out how to make a tomato soup I’D LIKE. I read recipes, did a little testing and adjusting and this delicious, creamy, bacony (let it be a word today), soup was born. (And I love it)
I first tested it on a group of friends as part of a Pork & Pinot dinner and have served it a few times since. It’s ALWAYS a hit and I always end up sending home to go containers and giving out the recipe. I have changed it from time to time. Crisping the bacon, using a good quality pancetta (I buy mine from D’Artagnan Meats – SOOOO WORTH IT) rather than bacon, a little less cream, a little more pepper…..
Here is my base recipe.
This simple but delicious creamy Tomato & Bacon Bisque is done in under an hour and that includes cooking the bacon and the grilled cheese sandwich.
3/4 Pound Thick Cut Bacon
1 Large can (28 oz) Tomatoes. Whole, or chopped, seasoned or not. – up to you.
1 Medium can Tomatoes. I used Garlic Roasted
2 Stalks Celery
1/2 Yellow Onion
2 Cups Vegetable Stock (Chicken works well too)
1/4 Cup All Purpose Flour
1 Cup Whipping Cream
1 Tbsp Butter – Unsalted
Salt & Pepper to taste
1 Cup Sour Cream
1/2 Cup Milk
Cut or chop (I use kitchen shears) 1/2 pound thick cut bacon and add to heated pan.
Cook for two to three minutes over medium heat. (or until crispy for a richer flavor – see below for when to remove/add if going with this plan)
If crisping bacon, remove and set aside now.
Chop celery and onion and add to bacon. Add butter. Add a couple shakes of pepper.
Cook while stirring occasionally for about 5 minutes or until celery and onion soften a bit.
Add stock and bacon if you crisped and removed. Now blend with immersion blender. (You can wait and do this at the end in batches with a standard blender)
Reduce heat and simmer bisque for about 30 minutes.
While the soup is simmering, Cook the rest of the bacon, crumble and set aside.
Now is also a good time to combine the sour cream and milk in In a squeeze bottle and refrigerate.
Remove from heat and slowly add cream while stirring.
Make a grilled cheese sandwich. I used Oatnut bread and Colby Jack cheese with just a little butter in the pan. VERY Simple and will compliment the soup well. (need several? Use a baking sheet and cook them in the oven – works like a charm)
NOW for plating……
Ladle desired amount of soup in a bowl. This picture is a cup and a half.
Swirl on some of the sour cream mixture and make a little design if you’d like.
Top with crumbled bacon (and a pinch of red pepper flakes for heat if you like that – I do).
Cut your sandwich as desired. I liked the “Sticks” for easy dunking.
Pour a glass of wine. – VERY WINE FRIENDLY!
This recipe is a main course for 6 or an appetizer course for MANY MORE.
Keeps well for several days and reheats well.